Leflore County and the city of Greenwood have granted $9 million to Greenwood Leflore Hospital in an effort to transfer ownership before the end of the calendar year.
The move comes as negotiations for the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) to take over one of the Mississippi Delta’s largest hospitals have stalled.
For months, the hospital has experienced numerous layoffs and closures, with officials releasing the permanent closure of the labor and delivery unit in early October.
One month prior, 20 full-time and 20 part-time employees at Greenwood Leflore Hospital were laid off, adding to the 30 employees that had already been forced to leave the hospital in May. That same month, UMMC submitted a bid to lease out the hospital before its closure at the end of the calendar year.
Since then, UMMC has stated that it does not wish to be responsible for the hospital’s massive debts to Medicare and maintenance costs following the transition of ownership, causing the negotiation process to come to a halt.
On Thursday, officials from the city of Greenwood and Leflore County each agreed to allocate $4.5 million in funding to cover the hospital’s fees to continue talks with UMMC. The hospital is currently owned in part by the city and county.
Despite efforts from Leflore County and Greenwood to resume negotiations with UMMC again, the hospital’s closure is quickly approaching, with many anticipating the date to be coming sooner rather than later.
“The issue is that the university would like to take them over, but I don’t see that happening,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney explained. “Once that hospital closes, it will not reopen.”
Officials from Leflore County are anticipated to talk directly with UMMC this week to discuss the possibility of resuming the negotiation process.